This slow cooker chili recipe will leave the crockpot empty and your family asking for more. It calls for simple pantry favorites that make for a hearty chili that’s absolutely delicious. It truly doesn’t get much easier than this dump-and-go recipe – perfect for busy weeknights or weekends.
Why this is the best crockpot chili (FOUR SECRET INGREDIENTS)
This delicious chili recipe features all of the classic ingredients like ground beef, diced tomatoes, fresh veggies, and seasonings.
FOUR secret ingredients make this chili out of this world. Brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce add SO much flavor. Beef bouillon adds a beefy kick, then there’s an additional ingredient that makes this a chili cook off winner, and it’s a cup of light beer. Although most of the alcohol content cooks out, the lasting flavor of barley malt lingers and creates an amazingly yummy chili.
I’m not tooting my own horn, but this is genuinely the best crock pot chili I’ve ever had. This awesome recipe deserves to be shared! I have dozens of chili recipes on my site, and this is the one I make over and over! We often call this recipe “Chuck Wagon Chili”.
- Cooked Beef: You can use lean ground beef or one with a higher fat content. Either way, it should be browned and drained prior to adding it to the slow cooker.
- Vegetables: A diced white onion and green bell pepper are a must in every good chili recipe.
- Tomatoes: You’ll need 2 cans of stewed or diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce.
- Seasonings: Chili powder, salt, black pepper, onion powder, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, a beef bouillon cube, and brown sugar are the perfect combination to create a great-tasting chili. This from scratch chili recipe is worth taking the time to make your own seasoning mixture!
- Beer: Use 1 cup of your favorite beer. I personally like to use Coors Light.
- Beans: 2 cans of drained and rinsed pinto beans add the right amount of heartiness to this chili.
Step One – Add everything to the slow cooker, except the beef bouillon cube and the water.
Step Two – Add the beef bouillon cube and water to a microwavable glass cup. Microwave for 40 seconds, or until the water is hot enough to melt the cube. Stir the cube in the water until dissolved. Add this to the other ingredients in the slow cooker, and stir the beef mixture.
Step Three – Cover and cook chili on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time. Once cooking time is complete, enjoy a bowl of the best chili ever! Be sure to serve with cornbread for the best experience.
How to Serve
- This easy crockpot chili recipe can always be served as is. Simply place a scoop into a bowl and enjoy.
- If you’re looking to create a bowl of spicy chili, add some red pepper flakes, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce.
- Some of the most classic toppings for chili are fresh cilantro, shredded cheese (think cheddar cheese), a scoop of sour cream, and green onions. Add your favorite chili toppings and enjoy!
- When it comes to sides, chili pairs well with a handful of tortilla chips, tortilla scoops, or slow cooker cornbread.
- This chili also tastes great poured over baked potatoes or for nachos the next day.
Some people like to use beef broth or beef stock instead of the bouillon cube. You can also use a tomato paste and water mixture to create tomato sauce. Chili beans can be used instead of light kidney beans. And if you’re looking to switch us the meat, consider using ground turkey or ground Italian sausage. Chili sauce can also be used in addition to everything else.
If you prefer a stronger flavor, consider using smoked paprika, adobo sauce, minced garlic, black beans, diced green chilies, and a squeeze of lime juice.
Let the chili cool completely and then pour it into an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the leftovers over medium heat until warmed throughout. You can also reheat chili in a slow cooker.
It’s best to brown the meat for chili on the stove top before adding to the slow cooker. Browning the meat adds depth of flavor and you can drain off excess fat.
Best Slow Cooker Chili
- 2 lbs. ground beef browned and drained
- 1 large white onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 3 Tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 cup beer use your favorite, I use coors light
- 29 oz. diced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes (two14.5-oz. cans)
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 30 oz. pinto beans drained and rinsed (two 15-oz. cans)
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 2 Tbsp. water
- Add everything to the slow cooker, except the beef bouillon cube and the water.
- Add the beef bouillon cube and water to a microwavable glass cup. Microwave for 40 seconds, or until the water is hot enough to melt the cube. Stir the cube in the water until dissolved. Add this to the other ingredients in the slow cooker, stir.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
How to Video:
- Let the chili cool completely and then pour it into an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the leftovers over medium heat until warmed throughout. You can also reheat chili in a slow cooker.
- It’s best to brown the meat for chili on the stove top before adding to the slow cooker. Browning the meat adds depth of flavor and you can drain off excess fat.
- Leftovers are great over baked potatoes or made into nachos or burritos.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.